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China to Build 1 Mln Temporary Homes for Quake Victims

China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said on Thursday that it had requested local authorities in earthquake-hit areas to build one million temporary homes by August 10 to accommodate quake victims of the May 12 earthquake.

A circular issued by the ministry said the transitional homes should be either assembled with steel sandwich panels or made of light-weight steel and plywood kit sets.

The size of the houses should be about 20 square meters and provide minimum living space for quake victims, it said.

They should be capable of withstanding earthquakes and be recyclable after three to five years of use, said the circular.

It also stipulated that local authorities should construct one primary school, one clinic and one retail store for every 1,000 temporary homes.

For every 2,000 houses, a middle school should be built, it added.

On May 12, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake jolted southwest China and affected many other parts of the country. The death toll had increased to 51,151 as of 10:00 AM on Thursday, according to the State Council Information Office.

In Sichuan Province, 2.9 million houses were flattened and almost 14 million others damaged, making millions of people homeless, according to a rough estimate.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2008)


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